Shortage Of Pilots Worries IATA


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has expressed concern over growing shortage of airline pilots globally, which is putting the industry’s recent growth at risk, as planes sit idle.
Chief economist of IATA, Briani Pearce, at the trade group’s annual meeting in Sydney, Monday, said pilots are forming unions across Europe, and seeking better working conditions and that those at Air France are striking over pay.
“ Higher salaries cut into profits and unions across the globe demand more benefits. These cost pressures are not about to stop immediately.
“It is the symptom of a wider issue if we look at developed economies; unemployment in the OECD has fallen tolows. We are starting to get wage pressures, of which pilots shortages are a symptom in our industry,’’ he said.
At the meeting, IATA lowered its airline profit fore cast by 12 percent, citing higher fuel and labour costs, and also expressed concern that inflation is beginning to take hold in economies, including pilot wages.
“The high cost of pilot training and several years of earlier hiring freezes in markets like the United States and Australia have deterred potential aviators from entering the industry.
“Boeing says the industry will need 637, 000 more pilots over the next 20 years and IATA estimates airline traffic will nearly double during that period.
“Therefore, companies like Canadian Training group, CAE Incorporated, and L3 Technologies (LLL.N) are building new flights simulators to cash in on training, demand.
“Plane makers, Airbus and Boeing are also expanding into services like training, where margins are potentially higher than building Jets. Some airlines are planning to expand in- house training programmes,’’ he said.